In the first of 3 connected articles, our Chartered Psychologist Dr. Fiona Beddoes-Jones explores how to create, develop and lead exceptional teams.
So you want to lead a winning team?
These are the 5 things you need to know:
Does everyone want to lead a winning team?
Surprisingly, the answer is no. For some people, leading a team that’s ‘good enough’ is a perfectly reasonable and acceptable way to live their lives. If ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough for you however, read on. There are some critical things you need to know about creating, developing and leading exceptional teams. All of these things are critically important. Thinking that you can skimp on, or ignore, any one of them is a mistake as any one of them could derail your plans and achievement.
Pick the right people for your team.
This will mean different things to different people. For example, a highly competitive Sales Director might think that the right people for their team are the most competitive or highly performing people. They would be wrong. Viewed from a psychological perspective, when we’re exploring exceptionally performing teams, the right people share certain characteristics and attitudes which means that they will significantly contribute to the successful performance of any team.
“If you’re not an authentic leader, and a role model to others, how can you expect your team to show up as their best selves? ”
Your (authentic) leadership is critical.
Whatever you do, you give your team permission to do. So you really do need to lead by example. Authentic leaders show up as their best selves and do the right things because they are the right things to do, not for any personal gain. As a leader, if you don’t tell the truth or you withhold information, your team will do the same to you. If you get stressed out and close down or stop communicating effectively, you can expect your team members to start doing the same. There are many ways to be an authentic leader; you need to find the way to achieve your full potential with your teams whilst also enabling them to reach their potential.
There are going to be investment costs, and you need to be prepared to pay them.
If you aren’t prepared to invest in your team and yourself, you might as well stop reading now. These investment costs aren’t just financial, they are also investments of time, energy, effort, intellect and support. Ultimately, if you really are serious about developing high performing, exceptional teams, you need to be prepared to commit to all of these investment costs.
It’s not easy.
If it were, every leader would lead exceptional teams. But they don’t. High performing, exceptional teams are rare. That’s why we notice them.
Find the right person or consultancy to help you.
To build a house you use an architect. To redesign your garden you may use a landscape gardener. Experts and specialists are there to help you and support you in achieving your goals and objectives more quickly and more effectively. They are also worth the investment cost.
“A wise leader recognises the expertise of others and uses it”